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Iran’s Economy Shrink by 6% Because of US Sanctions: IMF

The Trump administration is due to formally end the waivers for some of Iran's top crude purchasers, including China, India, Japan, Turkey and South Korea

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US sanctions, iran's economy
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference on Monday, April 22, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. VOA

The International Monetary Fund is forecasting Iran’s economy to shrink by 6% this year as it faces pressure from U.S. sanctions.

In a report released Monday, the IMF said its estimates for Iran, which include the potential for inflation to top 40%, predate a U.S. decision to end waivers that have allowed some Iranian oil buyers to continue making their purchases despite new sanctions that went into effect last year.

The Trump administration is due to formally end the waivers on Thursday for some of Iran’s top crude purchasers, including China, India, Japan, Turkey and South Korea.

The United States says it wants to deprive Iran of $50 billion in annual oil revenues to pressure it to end its nuclear and missile programs. The White House says it is working with top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure an adequate world oil supply.

Turkey and China have attacked the U.S. action, but it is not clear whether they will continue to buy Iranian oil.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said an interview broadcast on the U.S. cable show Fox News Sunday accused the United States of trying to “bring Iran to its knees” and overthrow its government by seeking to thwart its international oil trade.

iran's economy, US sanctions
FILE – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures during a press conference in Tehran, Feb. 13, 2019. VOA

He said U.S. officials are “wrong in their analysis. They are wrong in their hope and illusions.”

Zarif said the fact that Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 international agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program “would not put the U.S. in the good list of law-abiding nations.” Iran state media reported that Zarif told Iranian reporters in New York that Tehran’s withdrawal from the pact is one of “many options” it is considering in the wake of the U.S. end to the waivers on sanctions for countries buying oil from Iran.

Zarif said a team of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, and leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is trying to push U.S. President Donald Trump “into a confrontation he doesn’t want.”

“They have tried to bring the U.S. into a war,” Zarif said, with the goal, “at least,” of Iranian regime change.

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Bolton, appearing on the same Fox News program, said the U.S. goal is not regime change, but a change in behavior, specifically an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile testing.

“The Iranian people deserve a better government,” Bolton said. He called Zarif’s accusations “completely ridiculous, an effort to sow disinformation.” (VOA)

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Hike in Oil Price, Inflationary Fears Subdue Indian Equity Indices

The index toppers were Yes Bank, Vedanta, Tata Motors, NTPC and Mahindra & Mahindra.

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High crude oil prices and fears of a rise in core inflation subdued the key Indian equity indices on Friday.

According to market observes, crude oil at $67 per barrel and caution over a likely rise in core inflation pointed out in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s latest minutes of the monetary policy committee meet kept investors away.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed 26.87 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 35,871.48, while the broader NSE Nifty50 ended flat at 10,791.65.

crude oil, equity, inflationary
The S&P BSE Sensex closed 26.87 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 35,871.48, while the broader NSE Nifty50 ended flat at 10,791.65. VOA

“Market turned range-bound after the release of RBI minutes which hints at elevated core inflation and threat of global growth slowdown,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

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“Inflow of domestic funds to market remains positive, while tepid reaction from FIIs and lack of major triggers are impacting investors’ sentiments.”

The index toppers were Yes Bank, Vedanta, Tata Motors, NTPC and Mahindra & Mahindra, and the laggards were Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance. (IANS)